Florida wins in Athens, sweeping Georgia on the year

Kenny Gaines, who had knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions, couldn’t make it three in a row for the Dawgs, which would have tied the game at 56 apiece with less than 10 seconds remaining. Instead, Gaines’s attempt fell short, and so did Georgia’s comeback, giving Florida the 58-54 road win in Athens, along with a season sweep of Coach Mark Fox’s team.

At this point, any discussions of UGA (14-10) earning an at-large bid to this year’s NCAA Tournament are pure fantasy as Georgia is now a dismal 3-10 against the RPI Top 100.

Neither team shot the ball well tonight, but the difference was that Florida made a much higher percentage of its attempts in the second half.  Even though the Dawgs took a 25-19 advantage into the intermission, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy as Florida was just 1 of 17 from beyond the arc in the game’s first twenty minutes; surely, at some point, the Gators would find their range, which they did following the break, knocking down 50% of their shots from both the field and three-point land.

UGA, however, hit just 32% from the floor on the night, making exactly 10 of 31 attempts in each half.  The Dawgs’ offense hit a wall during the game’s final 7 minutes, just after UGA had taken a 44-41 lead following a nice finish by Yante Maten on the break.  Georgia would score only one field goal over the next 6 minutes, which is why Coach Fox’s team found themselves in the predicament that they were in, trailing Florida 52-47 with less than a minute left.

The Gators, who pressured UGA relentlessly when the two teams met in Gainesville earlier this year, seemed content to play a half court game, which obviously worked in Georgia’s favor.  Without having to face the ragged Gator press, the Dawgs managed to turn the ball over just 10 times on the night.

Florida was led offensively by KeVaughn Allen, who scored a game-high 19 points, including 4 three-pointers – 3 of which came in the second half.

Kenny Gaines, Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier scored 12, 11 and 10 points for UGA, respectively; though, none of them had much success in the shooting department.  Gaines was 4 for 11, Frazier 4 for 10, and Maten hit only 4 of his 17 attempts.

The Dawgs are 1-7 this season against the RPI Top 50 for a reason: they don’t have enough players to to compete with high-level teams for 40 minutes.  Georgia has two outside shooting threats and one legitimate post player, which is just not enough to be successful against strong competition.  If one of those guys gets in foul trouble or is having an off night, UGA is essentially playing 4 on 5 when it has the ball.

Anyone know what the NIT bubble is looking like these days?




12 thoughts on “Florida wins in Athens, sweeping Georgia on the year

  1. Strong analysis Hoop. Coach Fox just does not have enough players. its a shame that we can’t do more with Fraiser and Maten. Maybe next year.


  2. The offense is so stagnant at times and it is frustrating to see his inability to coach it. With that being said, I am more concerned with the lack of Fox’s in game adjustments. In most games (save for the A&M game), we have been in the lead or within striking distance. In the games against the better teams, we have come out in the second half and had a prolonged shooting drought that has allowed the other team back into the game. I am so sick and tired of seeing Fox’s lack of action on the court.

    P.S., UF got a good hire in their coach from LA Tech and I’m really sad that we didn’t have the chance to get him.


  3. Several SEC teams have upgraded, or potentially upgraded, in the coaching department in recent years – MSU, ‘Barn, UT, Bama. Georgia has chosen to stand pat. I believe that Fox has done a decent job, but the evidence is mounting that he has peaked. I hope he turns out to be Kevin Stallings — improving after a period of mediocrity at the same school — but how long do we wait to find out?

    Although Georgia does not have the talent of several other teams in the SEC , I am most alarmed by the regression we have seen from both Mann and Gaines under Fox since their sophmore years. Gaines last year, with mono, I understand. But these guys were preseason first-team all-SEC selections this year, and they have not played at nearly that level. What happened?

    Finally, as I have said too many times here (apologies for the broken record), Fox’s teams repeatedly and consistently disappear on offense in the second half of games. This phenomenon has not changed, and that is not a surprise — at least from this casual observer, Fox’s approach does not appear to have changed, so I don’t know why the results would be any different.


    1. Last night was a glaring example of UGA’s offense completely stalling late in the game. And, not to sound like a broken record myself, but when teams can double Maten and shadow J.J. and Gaines everywhere Georgia is playing 4 on 5. No offense to Georgia’s role players – Geno, Edwards, Kessler – but they offer zero threat to strong defensive teams.


    2. Navin,

      I agree with most of your points. At his current rate, I think that Fox has one or possibly two years left at UGA. I don’t think McGarity has the cajones to can the two highest profile coaches on campus in the same athletic year.

      The regression of the seniors has been troubling. Mann certainly regressed, but was never THAT impressive. Gaines on the other hand, might of had an outside shot at playing in the league if he would have kept the pace up from his sophomore year. I understand he’s had some injury issues, but he should be able to recuperate from them at this point.

      Next we should take another step back. JJ & Maten will be back and will be as solid as ever. Outside of them two, who knows? I know we have two 4* players signed, but there should be two more scholarship spots open. I hope he brings in a solid grad transfer PG and maybe pick up a big man. Edwards is not going to be very good and Oshawen is a lost cause.

      I hope to god I’m wrong with most of my predictions, but I’ve been proven correct too many times by UGA athletics.


        1. Thanks, WD. All in, McG, all in! He will sink or swim based on what Kirby does, so may as well swing for the fences on a basketball coach. I really wish we would have gone after some of the high-profile available coaches the last few years – Howland, Barnes (not sure he is elite, but I think better than we have), even Pearl.


          1. I just wish McGarity would’ve just thrown the hat into the ring for some of the high profile coaches. even just to heat up Fox’s seat.

            Everyone but Pearl. That dude is so sleazy and deserves to be at AU.


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